This is part two of an unknown amount of posts sharing the information I've learned about vaccines while researching. I am in no way an expert or a doctor. I encourage you to do your own research and make an informed decision!
So where did I get my info from? I struggled through my research online for a little while. It was tough. Most everything was incredibly biased towards one direction or the other, and there was very little research on either side, which just puts a bad taste in my mouth. I get being passionate about something, but you have to have facts and research to back up that passion.
A lot of key phrases were being thrown about:
"Vaccines don't cause autism!"
"Vaccines are the devil!"
and my personal favorite... "There's no research saying that vaccines are harmful."
Well, there's certainly not enough research confirming that they are safe. Maybe a study here or there of 1300 infants, but that's not nearly enough to be conclusive. So basically, there's not much research at all on the effects of vaccines.
So either we can fund the research (which I don't exactly have enough saved up for), or we can look at what we do know-- the ingredients and what few side effects we have learned (although because of poor research, these side effects can't even be confirmed that they are or are not from vaccines!).
Dr. Sears book "The Vaccine Book" is great because although it is biased, it at least presents most of the important information, including what each disease is that we are trying to prevent, how common it is, how 'bad' it is, what the ingredients and processes are in making the vaccine, and what the normal reactions are. It focuses mainly on vaccines in the US, so outside of the US, this wouldn't be a great resource at all.
A tidbit of what I've learned (and this part is a little more biased because it's my opinion, based on the research I've found). Most of the diseases we're vaccinating against aren't that bad. And most are very uncommon in the US. Now that's where the herd immunity debate comes in, but like I said, each parent needs to make their own informed choice.
I do have to say though, after reading up on a bunch of diseases that I wasn't familiar with, the way they described chicken pox sounded much worse than most of the others. But again, this is my own perception, and each parent needs to research for themselves.
And no, Dr. Sears isn't giving me a kickback for this... the book is just that good.